Monday, November 30, 2009

Chinmaya, Otemachi (陳麻家)

This place seems to specialize in tantanmen (spicy sesame-and-pork noodles) and mapo tofu (tofu and pork in sauce heavily spiced with red pepper and prickly ash). I sense some thematic similarities there. In keeping with my recent capsule reviews of noodles places:
- I like noodles like this in ramen - thin, straight, light. They're like Ippudou's noodles.
- The soup was very good. It was actually sort of light, and the chili came not as a layer of oil on top, but a layer of mostly-emulsified spiciness that was a pleasant bright orange.
- The ground pork was higher-quality than most; I often think the ground pork in tantanmen is a little gross, but this tasted like quality meat.
- There were some vegetables.
- Y680 for normal tantan. They had dry tantan (oil only) on the menu, but the machine wouldn't serve it, and the waitress seemed to think I was strange for asking about it.

So yes, a very nice noodle experience. One could argue that this is more of a Japanese-style tantanmen - I associate the light texture and bright-orange colorway with the Japanese derivative of tantan. If I'm wrong about this and it's actually from a different province of China or something, let me know. Then again, they probably don't eat tantanmen in China.

9 stores in Chiyoda alone. Andale!

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